Dick DeVos and His Decades of Philanthropic Commitment
Richard Devos Jr., Dick Devos, came from a lineage of movers and shakers in the corporate world, and he and his wife Betsy have been leaders in the city of Grand Rapids Michigan and the national Republican Party from the start of their careers. Richard DeVos Sr. was the founder and original CEO of the worldwide networking company Amway, and Dick Devos followed in his footsteps. Dick became a philanthropist and entrepreneur in his own right and spent a decade as CEO of Amway before he established his own successful multimillion-dollar investment companies.
Dick Devos stepped out into the arena of citywide politics in 1991 when a rumor of a plan to build a multi-purpose sports and convention arena on the north side of downtown Grand Rapids. As soon as he heard this announcement and news of it began to trickle through businesses owners, Dick actively began lobbying against it. As a member of the business community in Grand Rapids all of his life, he remembered the catastrophe that occurred when the Palace of Auburn Hills and the Pontiac Silverdome were built in Detroit during the 1970s. He learned this lesson well.
Because of this new construction, the Lions and Pistons left the city, which created terrific loss in Detroit. Mr. Devos did not want to see history repeat itself in Grand Rapids. With accelerated and determined lobbying, the new development was canceled and Dick Devos established three companies.
Dick and his wife Betsy have devoted their lives to upholding and bringing about change in the structure of institutions and city and state policies. Their political influence had preceded them as they contributed greatly to educational and GOP facilities to especially benefit the educational and labor-oriented sectors of their city. They have been leaders in the education field in Michigan with their goals set on improving the educational system both for public and private schools and also to bring about more charter schools for the next generation.
When Trump became president in 2018, one of his first appointments was to place Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education for the United States. As head of the Devos Family Foundationalal Fund, Dick continued to address issues at home as Betsy took her position in Washington D.C. This power couple has authorized over $138 million primarily for the National Republican Party as well as other interests such as the arts and culture, education, leadership programs, and policy initiatives and scholarships for children to attend private schools. Dick Devos is a leader in affecting progressive change for Michigan and America.
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